I realize I’m a few weeks behind the nostalgia and what 2014 meant to me, but nevertheless, it remains true.
In 2014, I read some comics. I watched some TV, both live action and animated. But really, the obvious big step was with movies. I kept track of movies I watched for the first time this year and of those 69, 28 of them were comic book movies (plus one Sky High and one Wonder Woman documentary). Prior to 2014, I think the only superhero movies I had properly watched were The Avengers (which I watched several more times this year), Iron Man 1 and 2, Batman and Robin (which I rewatched and loved a whole lot more), Superman Returns (which I rewatched and hated a whole lot more), and Supergirl, which I loved as a child and barely remember now.
The complete list of comic book movies I watched in 2014, should you be interested, is as follows (as well as an explanation as to why on Earth I watched Catwoman):
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Iron Man 3
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Dark Knight
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: First Class
The Dark Knight Rises
Man of Steel
X-Men: The Last Stand
Catwoman (all right, maybe “explanation” was a strong word since there’s no excuse for watching this movie, but I was house sitting for a friend and they had premium channels and it was on…it just happened. The next time I housesat, Spider-Man 3 was on, but I had the wherewithal this time to successfully avoid it)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Thor: The Dark World
Mask of the Phantasm
Big Hero 6
The initial reason for all of this is because if Batman means so much to my best friend, I felt I owed it to her to meet him. And I did. And many others. I kept going, of course, because I loved it. I loved many of the movies and I loved learning a new genre and figuring out why things worked and things didn’t and patterns and what it feels like to be totally screwed if you’re a woman/minority fan (that part was less fun).
What’s more, superhero movies turned out to be the perfect calm-down movies for me.
Between my anxiety, shyness and introversion, I need a lot of calming down when I am or have been around people. Certain TV shows do it well, Buffy the Vampire Slayer being the best. And that works great when I have 45 minutes. But often, I just need 10 or 15 minutes. Sometimes I slink away and company’s still in the other room or I just need a quick dose of something before I go to sleep. I have trouble only watching part of a Buffy. I want to keep going. It’s only 45 minutes, after all. But I don’t have that problem with movies.
But the main thing I love about TV and what can distract me from the pangs in my stomach is the larger narrative. I love movies, but I’d take a season of episodes over a two hour standalone anytime. The reason comic book movies are so perfect to calm me down is that I can do those short bites, but the stories still fit into a bigger narrative. Superman fits in with all the other Superman movies as well as the comics and the animated series. It’s one part of a very big picture.
Obviously, some of these movies are better than others. I’ve watched Winter Soldier at least half a dozen times since I first watched it in April. X-Men: The Last Stand…not so much.
I’m not entirely sure what’s next in 2015. I’ve watched almost all of the movies I intend to. Maybe I’ll start writing in-depth about these movies (well, not all of them, I pray I never have to watch Catwoman again). More reading and animated series, I suppose. But 2014 was definitely my start year. It’s clear there’s no end date in sight.